Setting the Office Theme using Group Policy

Updated Office 2013 Administrative Template files allow you to set the theme using Group Policy. This post comes courtesy of our resident Office compatibility and deployment expert, Curtis Sawin.


Just last week, the Office 2013 Administrative Templates were updated. The new templates include a new policy setting that allows you to set the default Office theme for your users. With this new policy setting, you can provide a default experience for your users while still allowing each user to customize their theme. For example, if an end-user has already changed their theme, their setting will take precedence over a theme that is applied via Group Policy.

In the Group Policy Editor, you can find this setting under:

User Configuration | Administrative Templates | Office 2013 | Global Options | Customize



To enable this setting, you must download the new ADMX files and import them in your environment, and ensure that the update found at is installed on client machines. For Office 365 ProPlus, this update is included in the August 2013 update, build 15.0.4517.1509 and later. Without the hotfix or the required build, this Group Policy setting will not have any effect.